For the Shelter Island 10K’s Mary Ellen Adipietro, who was at the Boston Marathon’s finish line last year when the bombs went off, the 2014 marathon “was a full 360,” especially given the fact that an American, Meb Keflezighi, won it.
“Meb is a beloved person — he’s said that runners are united for good and that he’s running to combat terror and hate. He’s not young, you know, he’s 38. He was up against 12 or 14 guys who can run a 2:02 or 2:03. He said he was giving his whole heart to Boston. It was great that he won” — in 2:08:37, a personal best — and “thrilling,” she said, that Keflezighi, who’s sponsored by the New York Athletic Club, is to run in the Shelter Island 10K on June 21.
Keflezighi, along with Joan Benoit Samuelson, whose 2:52:11 at Boston set a world record for 56-year-old women, are to talk with North and South Fork high school track teams the day before.
“My husband and I are members of the Athletic Club. We’ve wanted to get Meb to come out for the past two or so years. He agreed to do it in February. The night before the race, our [12-year-old] son, Liam, told Meb that if he ran fast, he knew he would win. It was a story book ending — it couldn’t have been better.”
A number of South Fork endurance athletes who train with Ed Cashin at his Exceed Fitness studio in East Hampton — namely Sinead FitzGibbon, Kevin Barry, Fiachra Hallissey, and Tom O’Donoghue — ran Boston this year.
Barry, who ran a 2:49 at Boston in 1993, and who hadn’t really trained for this one, said over the weekend that he had got what he deserved. “But it was great to be there — it was such an emotional moment. This was my fifth one there” — his 20th marathon over all — “and it was by far the loudest. Everybody was pumped; it was a beautiful spring day. It was like the Beatles going to Shea Stadium in 1964!”
“There was definitely a lot of security,” Barry said, “but they blended in pretty well. It’s a shame they have to do it, but that’s the world we live in. Boston did an amazing job.”
By the last 10K, he had pretty much reached bottom, said Barry. His quads dead and his calves cramping, he alternated two minutes of jogging with a minute of walking the rest of the way. “I wasn’t tired, but I couldn’t move my legs. People were saying, ‘Run! Run!’ . . . I’m walking a little funny today,” said Barry, who coaches East Hampton High’s boys cross-country team and helps with its spring track team.
As for Keflezighi coming to Shelter Island, Barry said, “He’s a really good guy. He won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, he won New York in 2009.”
“The people up there, they wouldn’t let you stop,” said O’Donoghue on the group’s return. “It was a wonderful experience. I [and Hallissey too] definitely went out too fast. But you know runners are competitive and there was such enthusiasm at the start, especially given what happened there last year. . . . We trained all winter for it, on the trails, in the snow. Once it was eight degrees. You have to put in the time. We [FitzGibbon, Hallissey, Barry, and he] train as a group — it’s become a social club, without the alcohol.”
FitzGibbon, a physical therapist, said she was convinced that those in the 40-something group were contributing to their longevity through athletic endeavor. “I feel like I’m still getting faster,” she said, “and I’ll bet Kevin still has a three-hour marathon in him. He’s the most knowledgeable of all of us, though he didn’t train much this winter.”
As for her experience at Boston, FitzGibbon said that while there was, of course, a security presence, she hadn’t felt it was overbearing.
“The atmosphere was jubilant, not defiant. It was a celebration of life. It was a surge of humanity. I was most impressed by the survivors, some very badly scarred, some on crutches, some with no legs, with prostheses. . . . There were blind runners too. . . . It was as if to say, ‘Nothing can stop you.’ Everyone was doing their best, no matter what. . . . It was a chance to redeem those memories.”